When we first become Newfoundland dog owners we want to provide the very life that we can for them.
We want their life to be perfect and we want to be the perfect owners.
What many of us fail to realize is that no one is ever a perfect dog owner.
We live and we learn and we try our best.
And every single one of us makes mistakes along the way.
I made plenty of mistakes with Sherman and Leroy and I’ll make some with Odin but these mistakes always lead me to new discoveries and help me to grow as a Newfoundland dog owner.
If you’re new to the Newfoundland breed and want to be the best owner that you can, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Set Boundaries For Your Newfoundland
A Newfoundland dog that doesn’t have boundaries can become destructive, overpowering and confused.
These traits can often evolve into anxiety, fear and in some cases aggression.
As a Newfoundland dog owner, you should set clear boundaries and rules from the start and keep them enforced.
When you do this you are sending a clear message to your Newfie what is expected of him.
They look for you for guidance so give it to them!
Sit down and make a list of some of the boundaries that you want your dog to have around the house.
Some examples may be no counter-surfing, no chasing the cat, no jumping on visitors, no begging and so on.
After you have a list of a few boundaries create an action plan.
How are you going to enforce these boundaries?
Keep in mind that it’s a lot easier to set boundaries in the beginning than it is to set boundaries later on.
Newfies mature slower than other breeds so take your time.
They are smart and learn quickly but don’t overwhelm them by trying to teach them too many new commands or tricks at once and don’t spend too much time all at once focusing on one command because you will quickly lose their interest.
A few basic commands for only 5-10 minutes at a time is a good place to start.
And if your dog isn’t getting something a good idea is to take a step back and evaluate how you’re teaching the command or behavior.
There’s a good chance that something that you’re doing is creating confusion so you might have to adjust your teaching style.
This happened to me recently with Odin when I was trying to teach him the “hold it” command.
I knew I was doing something wrong because I could see Odin getting frustrated with me.
When I revaluated myself I realized that I was telling Odin to do something different than what I wanted.
Don’t Stop Training Your Newfoundland
Training your Newfoundland should never stop throughout their life.
All of those Newfs that you see that are well-trained have been training with their owner for years.
Their training didn’t stop when they grew into adults.
As your Newfoundland gets older, training can be another important role in his health and wellbeing.
Training helps to exercise their mind in order to keep them sharp.
Keeping their mind busy can help stop unwanted behaviors such as chewing and digging.
Find A Hobby To Do With Your Newfie
Finding a hobby that you and your dog can do together.
You can check what training activities are local to you by reaching out to your local all-breed clubs, local dog trainers, contacting your regional Newfoundland club or checking the AKC for training ideas that you can do from home.
Not only will having a hobby with your dog keep them active but it will also help strengthen your bond!
Grooming Your Newfoundland
Grooming is a HUGE part of being a Newfoundland dog owner but it goes beyond keeping their coat in good condition.
Grooming your Newfie is also teaching them how to be patient and handled.
Introducing grooming at an early age, even from the first day that they come home, is one of the most important things you should do.
During your daily grooming sessions make sure to touch their paws, ears, mouth, tail, and legs.
By doing this you are setting your Newfie up for success at future grooming and veterinarian appointments.
These things, if started early, can help you become a better Newfoundland dog owner over time and help your dog be the best he can be.
Share this with anyone you know who is a Newfoundland dog owner!